I’m super excited to share some sketches and illustrations from my very first children’s book!

I’ve been working for over a year on the illustrations for a children’s book Amanda’s Big Dream ,
written by author and therapist Judith Matz, LCSW.
I am currently working on getting the files ready for both an eBook and a print version.
Hopefully everything will be ready by the end of February!

What is the book about?

Amanda’s Big Dream is an engaging story of a girl
 who dreams of a solo in the Spring Ice Show.
When her skating coach makes an offhand comment about her weight,
Amanda loses confidence in her ability to make her dream come true.
Despite reassurances from her parents, her doctor, and her best friend,
Amanda decides to quit skating.
Will Amanda return to the ice? Or has she given up forever?
Come along with Amanda as she realizes the true secret to following her big dream!

Here are a few of the rough sketches and final illustrations

I do all of the drawings in pencil on paper (usually on a kid’s newsprint doodle pad!).
Then I trace the rough version onto smooth paper for a cleaner, less scribbly version.
The next step is to scan the “clean” drawing into my computer.
Finally, I add all of the color and detail using digital paint, chalks, and other magical stuff.

Below is the opening page, where our heroine Amanda sits in bed with her kitty and her book, dreaming of being the star of a skating show.

© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

Amanda dreams of a solo in the Spring Ice Show.
Sketch and final illustration from Amanda’s Big Dream.
© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

One of the fun things I did was have Amanda’s kitty mirror her emotions as the book unfolds.
It helps that I have a cat willing to “pose” for me!
As you can see from this photo of my studio, my own kitty likes to leap up on my desk while I am working.
The image you see on the monitors is the page where Amanda is feeling most discouraged (and so is her kitty).

Studio shot of illustration from Amanda's Big Dream. © Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

My cat, the model for Amanda’s pet kitty, has the annoying habit of jumping up on my work table!

In this illustration, Amanda walks with her mom to the ice rink. She is very excited to practice!

© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved.

Amanda and her mom walk to the skating rink.
Sketch and final illustration from Amanda’s Big Dream.
© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

Ice skating, like dancing, is a sport where there is an expectation that a figure skater will have a certain body type.
Coach Sarah makes a “helpful” comment about Amanda’s weight that sets the story in motion.

© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

Coach Sarah praises Amanda’s progress.
Sketch and final illustration from Amanda’s Big Dream.
© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

In the illustration below, Amanda’s mom and dad react to what Amanda tells them at the dinner table.
I choose one my own kids’ favorite, spaghetti and meatballs, with a green salad, as Amanda’s family dinner,
particularly because carbs are often “forbidden foods” on weight loss diets.

I avoid wheat myself because of digestive issues, so I really enjoyed illustrating the basket of bread!
Also, at my house “mom” (me!) usually gets a glass of wine with dinner…

© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

Amanda’s parents at the dinner table, with a close-up of some details.
Sketch and final illustration from Amanda’s Big Dream.
© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved

Amanda challenges herself to learn a very difficult spin.
All skaters fall occasionally, and Amanda falls while practicing this spin.
When Emily and Billy skate by, Amanda thinks they might be laughing at her,
not because she has fallen, but because of her weight.

Sketch and final illustration: Emily and Billy

Sketch and final illustration: Emily and Billy

You might be concerned at this point, but spoiler alert: the story ends well!

I’ll share some more sketches and illustrations in my next post.
In the meantime, you can see a free preview of the book on the Amanda’s Big Dream website
And while you’re there, check out the great body image resources for parents, teachers and other caregivers!

And please give Amanda’s Big Dream Facebook page a “Like”!

As always, I love, love. love your comments!
Smiles!
elizabeth